Community Media: Selected Clippings – 10/28/07

A well-informed citizenry
by Faith
Kerry Vision

In 2003, FCC Chairman Michael Powell attempted to loosen media consolidation rules, but was halted by a federal court in a landmark decision. Now, current Chairman Kevin Martin is threatening the same, and he’s meeting with bi-partisan opposition in the unlikely partnership of Senators Byron Dorgan and Trent Lott, along with legislators from both sides of the aisle.

What Martin is attempting is to allow media ownership of broadcast and newspapers by the same owner in the same market. And he’s given the public five days notice to voice our opposition.   —>


Senators Call For Net Neutrality Hearing
by Jason Lee Miller

Senators Bryon Dorgan (D-ND) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) sent a letter today to Sen. Daniel Inouye, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, calling for a hearing to discuss phone and cable companies’ recent discrimination against content on their networks, and whether current regulatory protections are enough.

The senators cite the contrast between recent cable and phone companies’ actions and their words. Companies from both industries promised they would not abuse their power as information gatekeepers, yet recent moves by Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast suggest other wise.  Here is most of the text from the letter:—>

U-verse TV battle moves to state court

by David Krechevsky

Republican-American (CT)


HARTFORD — The fate of AT&T’s U-verse television service now rests with a state superior court judge.  Judge Robert F. McWeeny conducted a hearing Friday before a packed house in Hartford Superior Court on a request from AT&T Inc. to overturn a ruling by state regulators that requires the company to seek a cable TV franchise license for U-verse….

McWeeny focused on two points: what legislators intended when they created the new video franchising law, and whether the federal judge’s ruling affected the new law…  After hearing all of the arguments, McWeeny said he would not issue a ruling Friday, but intends to have one “soon.”

see also:

AT&T’s U-Verse: Cable TV or Internet?

by Rob Varnon

Connecticut Post (CT)



Cable Access Channel Fights Back with Hitler Ads 

by Mitch E. Perry

WMNF Evening News Friday (FL)


    [ listen ]

Speak Up Tampa Bay, the Community access channel in Tampa and Hillsborough County, lost $355,000 from its operating budget after County Commissioners cut funding for the channel, claiming budget cuts as the culprit.

The Channel sued, and beginning tomorrow (Saturday) will begin airing ads asking its viewers to help out in its legal battle. And one of the ads is quite provocative, featuring the visages of Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Fidel Castro, before ultimately fading into the faces of Commissioners Jim Norman, Brian Blair, Al Higgenbotham, and Ken Hagen…

Meanwhile, in Pinellas County, organizers trying to get public access back on in that area say that they will be meeting with First Amendment Attorney Luke Lirot, and are contemplating legal action against the County Government. a


Bright House takes a dim view of customers

by Jeff Webb

St. Petersburg Times (FL)


Their incessant advertisements remind us that we should live in a Bright House.  But if the cable television company that serves Hernando County really cares that much about letting the sun shine in, it could start by not obscuring one of the public’s main views of its government.

Not long after the Florida Legislature foolishly freed cable companies from the burden of having to negotiate franchise agreements with local governments, Bright House announced it will shuffle its channel lineup on Dec. 11. In Hernando County, where Bright House is basically the only cable game in town, that means customers who pay $48.49 per month for the lowest tier of basic digital service will have to upgrade their subscription if they want to view the so-called “government channels,” currently 14, 19 or 20.

Bright House is moving those stations to the next tier of digital service, which means customers will need a converter box and pay extra to continue watching those public channels. If a customer chooses to purchase the complete second tier of service, the cost will be $59.45. If a customer wants just the government channels, he still has to pay an extra $1 a month, plus tax, for the converter box.  Count me among those whose disposition about Bright House is not so sunny right now.   —>


Rural life comes at high-tech price

by Hilary Bentman

The Intelligencer (PA)

They come from New York, Philadelphia, and other urban spots, seeking out the quiet, rural life that northern Bucks County offers.  Here, they find homes hidden in woodlands, relatively few cars traversing the country roads, and a night sky not polluted by glaring city lights.

But these city transplants also expect to have the modern, urban amenities, like cell phone reception, high-speed Internet and convenience stores.  These services, they soon discover, are hard to come by.  It’s created a clash of cultures of sort, and the latest battle ground is over cable.   —>


Access Humboldt executive director invited to join ZeroDivide Fellowship

Eureka Reporter (CA)



Sean McLaughlin, executive director of Access Humboldt, is one of 16 leaders from across the state of California selected by the Community Technology Foundation to join Class III of the ZeroDivide Fellowship. This highly sought-after two-year fellowship increases the capacity of leaders in California to promote social justice through the use of information and communications technology…

McLaughlin said, “Rural communities of the Redwood Coast have particular challenges and opportunities with regard to technology and innovation, so I am delighted to have this opportunity to join with colleagues from across the state and build a movement that brings people together.”   —>


Webcasts bring local cable to the world

by John Laidler

Boston Globe


Newburyport residents can watch political candidates in the city debating the issues or see their high school football team in action, even if they are thousands of miles from home.  Last month, the Newburyport Community Media Center, the new nonprofit organization that took over operation of the city’s cable-access station this year, began placing videos of some of its programming on its website,

“It’s important that, as we are providing content for our channels, we also evolve with the new media,” said Keri Stokstad, the center’s executive director.  Through its new “video on demand” feature, anyone with a computer and access to the World Wide Web can watch a Newburyport access program by going to the center’s website and clicking on one of the video offerings. By next January, the station hopes to begin streaming cable programs to the site live.

The Newburyport center is not alone in using the Internet to expand the reach of its programs. Across the country, an increasing number of local access stations have initiated or are exploring the posting of taped or live programs on their websites, said Stokstad, who was involved in such Web postings in her previous job as executive director of a cable-access corporation in Washington’s Puget Sound region.   —>


Airwaves Auction Still Faces Challenge

by John Dunbar, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Verizon Wireless has dropped its court challenge against the government’s consumer-friendly rules governing an upcoming airwaves auction — but it’s a bit early for supporters of the plan to declare victory.   —>


‘The State of Community Media in the European Union’
by Erkan Saka
Erkan’s Field Diary

The European Parliament has recently published “The State of Community Media in the European Union”  (PDF). From Executive’s summary Intro:

‘Community Media (CM) constitute a dynamic and highly diverse part of the European Union’s media landscape.  Yet, little information is available regarding the sector’s scope, its potential and on the status of CM organisations in different Member States.

The purpose of this report is to investigate the state of CM in the EU and to examine the factors that influence their development.  Particular attention has been focussed on examining how CM activity meets EU policy objectives.   —>


BCAT Looks at Bed-Stuy Blogs and WiFi Hotspots


BCAT’s (Brooklyn Community Access Television) presents Neighborhood Beat: The Bed-Stuy Parlor, on Thursday, November 1 at 8:30 p.m.  This month, host Monique Greenwood connects with Bed-Stuy’s hi-tech community: Petra Symister of; Peter Epstein of the Bed-Stuy Renovations Blog; Jonathan Butler of; and TRUE of the Bed-Stuy Yahoo Group BSHINE.  BCAT will also take us to WiFi spots Bread-Stuy, the Laundromat on Fulton Street, Tiny Cup on Nostrand Ave and Twofiftyeight Café on Malcolm X Boulevard.   —>



compiled by Rob McCausland

Alliance for Community Media




Explore posts in the same categories: broadband policy, cable vs telco, community media, FCC, government access, internet censorship, IPTV, localism, media diversity, media ownership, municipal broadband, municipal programming, net neutrality, PEG access TV, public access television, rural broadband, spectrum auction, streaming, U-Verse, video franchising, webcast, webcasts

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